Securing Investor Funding Quickly to Keep Growth Momentum
Initiative Group is an ambitious bar and restaurant group founded by four friends in 2016. Ralston started working with the team as they were ramping up their main bar site, as well as an event space, located in London’s trendy Mercato Metropolitano market. With their sights set on continued growth, they looked to Ralston to help them secure an investor.
The Initiative team planned to open a second location at Mercato Mayfair, and they secured a soft commitment to develop and open 12 new bar, cafe and dining sites across the UK in partnership with a Hotel group. This, however, was dependant on the team securing funding to co-invest in the project.
We first built a detailed investment case, and the Initiative team soon found an Investor willing to commit to the entire round, through a combination of equity and a revolving debt facility. But to close the deal, the investor required professional reporting and accurate and consistent financials to be confident the team was executing according to plan.
Ahead of the investment and the due diligence process, we built a robust financial model and financial plan in a matter of weeks, from which we set up projections and daily/weekly reporting across all existing and new sites. We then started tracking daily sales performance, payments due, inventory and labour costs, and streamlined the books, identifying underperforming assets and in the process deciding to cut loss making sites.
Meanwhile, we migrated all bookkeeping and accounting to a dedicated third-party accountancy, as well as successfully on-boarded and trained a Finance Manager to execute many of the finance processes going forward. Throughout this process, we met with the team on a regular basis to deliver clear performance insights and improve decision making.
We worked with the investor’s diligence team through the financial and legal diligence process, as well as advised the Company on key commercial terms for the deal. The investor was satisfied with the process and the deal successfully closed in less than six weeks from initial point of contact. Initiative Group then secured their hotel agreement, launched their Mayfair site and were able to make key hiring decisions with confidence. Ralston created and tracked tight budgets through this next phase, allowing the team to expand from two to 12 sites in 18 months.
The plan presented is the plan they continue to execute on, and we continue to support the team operationally and as advisor to the board.
“I can’t imagine our journey without Ralston. From the very beginning, they gave us a wealth of knowledge I don’t know where we would have found elsewhere. They helped us in getting investor-ready and their diligence and speed got our funding over the line.”